And all of a sudden it's May.
Green and lush, sweet, intoxicating, lusty but also innocent and full of hope. May is a month of birthdays (my husband and wonderful almost three year old niece) and wedding anniversaries (my sister). Happiness is in the intoxicating air and it has a scent- lily-of-the-valley.
Lily-of-the-valley, muguet in French and in perfume-speak, symbolizes the return of happiness. It was a significant flower in Kate Middleton's bridal bouquet, which I'm sure smelled heavenly. It's also an important note in many a classic spring perfume, such as Diorissimo (at least originally) and Coty Muguet de Bois. Normally I have more than a minor aversion to muguet in perfume. There's something there that rarely sits well with me. The real thing is lovely, though nearly impossible to capture naturally. But over the last few months I've discovered a new appreciation for this note when done right.
Dawn Spencer Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes does it right.
Very very right.
Muguet de Mai (feminine) and Muguet Cologne (masculine) are both natural perfumes, something that is close to a miracle. And they smell like one. As true to the flower as it can be, both in the tender green feel and in a heartbreaking beauty. Muguet de Mai is soft, warmed by the sun, sweet and smooth as honey. It's joyful and looks up at the blue spring sky. Muguet Cologne is earthy and a little smoky. Its green part is almost juicy and I can almost taste it. The smoky and woody elements are smooth and mellow- on my skin they become sweeter than on my husband's, and despite the "Cologne" part of the name, it lasts on me for very long hours.
Wearing Muguet de Mai is uplifting and centering. The way this DSH perfume melds with the skin is typical to natural perfumes- it becomes part of you and feels a lot more warm and intimate than regular floral perfumes. It's all that's good about spring and summer and is. As for Muguet Cologne's masculinity, it is still very wearable for women who like leafy greens and have been borrowing (vintage) bottles of Grey Flannel from the men in their lives.
Muguet de Mai notes:
bergamot, lemon, galbanum, violet leaf, freesia accord, hyacinth accord, Tunisian neroli, linden blossom, cyclamen accord, broom, boronia, sambac jasmine, rose otto, ylang ylang, jonquil, lilac accord , orris co2, cassis bud, honey beeswax, aged East Indian sandalwood, Virginia cedarwood, tolu balsam, olibanum and styrax resin.
Muguet Cologne notes:
lemon, bergamot, white grapefruit, galbanum, coriander, chamomile, hyacinth accord, Tunisian neroli, geranium, jasmine sambac, orris co2, linden blossom, rose otto, violet leaf, Australian sandalwood, Virginia cedarwood, olibanum, tolu balsam, vetiver, patchouli, and oakmoss.
Please visit the other participants in this May Day project:
DSH Perfumes Muguet de Mai and Muguet Cologne are a very limited edition, available from dshperfumes.com: There are only nine antique presentation flacons of Muguet de Mai perfume, at $125; a generous size sample at $22 and varying sizes of the Muguet Cologne from a sample vial for $5.25 to 10 ml $45 and 1 ounce at $98. My samples were sent directly from the perfumer.
Muguet de Mai by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz
Kate Middleton's bridal bouquet from the official Royal Family photo album on Flickr, courtesy of Clarence House.